A Community Farm
Started in 2012, the Just Food Community Farm is where people and projects come together to model and inspire small-scale, viable agriculture businesses and initiatives in the Ottawa region. Located on a 150-acre farmstead in the Ottawa Greenbelt on the west side of Blackburn Hamlet, the Just Food Farm is ideally situated on the #25 bus route and bike paths, with a unique network of pathways that make exploring the varied activities a pleasure. It is between a residential area and the ecologically protected Green’s Creek, allowing us to demonstrate that agriculture can flourish in this context. At the site of the old NCC tree nursery, we are maintaining the windbreaks and will introduce edible trees, maintaining the beauty of the area.
Just Food Farm Promotes
- A healthy local food economy with access to food for all, serving the growing demand for locally produced products
- A vibrant and economically viable farming sector
- A cost-effective model of conservation and land stewardship that builds on scientifically based agro-ecological practices
Featured programs include:
The Start-Up Farm Program provides access to land, training, and shared infrastructure and equipment within a mutually supportive and ecologically sustainable environment. We also provide training and support to new and established producers throughout the Ottawa region. More information here.
Start-up Farm Partners
The Wild Garden
The Wild Garden also offers educational walks and workshops on the edible and medicinal plants, growing in the local landscape.
Amber is an experienced forager, wildcrafter and gardener. Drawing on traditional techniques of tending the wild and permaculture design, Amber uses regenerative growing and harvesting methods with the goal of co-creating vibrant, healthy and diverse ecosystems.
Nanabush Food Forests
If “you are what you eat” then, you are Food, Personified. That is our motto at Nanabush Food Forests. How do we achieve that? We focus on creating nutrient rich soil. If you grow healthy soil all of its derivatives will benefit. Great food is simply a derivative of great soil. If you want highly nutritious and superbly delicious food, then you want food grown in great soil.
Better soil, better food, better people.
We have established non-certified organic food forests within the City of Ottawa with emphasis on permanent, sustainable agriculture. By design, gardening in these forests builds soil structure, uses less water and yields a dramatic amount of highly nutritious food per square meter. Our hope is that all people take the opportunity to look good, feel good and be good. Eat from our forest gardens!
Best personal regards,
We named ourselves Team Nanabush several years ago, after visiting Petroglyphs Park and learning about the mythical and mischievous Nanabush, whose role was to teach man what foods in the forest were medicine.
For more information, visit www.nanabushfoodforests.com.
Capital Bees cares for nearly 50 beehives that pollinate the organic veggies and forage on an abundance of wildflowers and flowering trees at the Just Food Community Farm.
Capital Bees is Certified Naturally Grown which means they don’t use synthetic pesticides or antibiotics to control pests or diseases. They are also actively breeding bees to be resistant to pests and diseases, gentle to work with, and `adapted to our local climate.
Capital Bees offer a comprehensive full season hands-on learning program that give you all the support you need to become a competent and confident beekeeper.
Products: honey, jams and jellies, salves, and other bee related products, fermented foods and drinks. Organic (non-certified) beekeeping, non-pasteurized, wildflower bee yards.
Where to Buy: Website, special events, or by appointment.
Community Partner Projects
KLEO Karen Community Farm
Farming is a way of life that is fundamental to the absolute well being of the Karen people, an ethnic minority who fled from Burma due to civil war, and were resettled by UNHCR in 2006 after living for more than a decade in refugee camps in northern Thailand. The Karen Farm provides Karen refugees in Ottawa, who have endured years of displacement, a place of comfort and sense of home, as well as a place to practice and adapt their farming skills and provide healthy fresh food for themselves and their community.
At the one acre plot at the Just Food Farm, elder Karen, with limited english language skills and employment prospects, are adapting their traditional farming methods and crops to the Canadian context, while sharing their knowledge and experience with Karen youth, reversing the generational imbalance that can exist when the young adapt to their new environment more quickly. Karen youth who work as interns and volunteers at the farm are exposed to their traditional heritage, plus the reality of farming in Canada and the possibility of pursuing it as a career. The Karen have also taught us about wild foods!
The farm sells its certified organic produce through weekly vegetable boxes in a CSA program which helps to offset costs. The farm is supported by volunteer drivers and record-keepers. The Karen community enjoys celebrations and feasts featuring their traditional foods such as Chin Baung (roselle), Mying Khwar (pennywort) and many ethnic brassicas.
The Karen farmers, working alongside KLEO and Just Food, have made this farm a great success story.
Contact: Erin O’Manique, Board Member of KLEO Support Group
We will announce new programs as they evolve though the Just Food Newsletter and the Blackburn Community Association website.